Photo source: Kanzeon-ji temple


Kanzeon-ji, Dazaifu

This is a rare 11th century image of Daikoku-ten in one of his older Japanese forms. He originally entered Japan as the Indian god Mahakala (who is Siva in his aspect of Time, the Great Destroyer.) Later on (14th century), he evolved into one of the Japanese Seven Gods Of Luck - a god of prosperity, and protector of farmers, who carries a bag filled with good things (cornucopia) over his shoulder. The version here seems to be a blend of protector god (martial face and posture) and prosperity-giver (bag over shoulder).

The 5'8" statue is carved out of a single block of camphor wood.